Tag: job (page 2 of 5)

Job crafting, identity, and fulfilment

This article by Lan Nguyen Chaplin, a professor of marketing at a prestigious business school, reflects my own experience. Those jobs I’ve thought were ‘big’ and ‘important’ have been the ones that have drained me of energy, made me sad, and generally changed me for the worse.

Instead, as Chaplin says, the important thing is to align your work your values and personal strengths. This (eventually) allows you to transform what you do into a sustainable, balanced, and purposeful career. Sometimes, though, you have to know what you’re willing to tolerate and what you’re not, which can involve going precipitously close to the fire.

Outside of my fancy new title, I had begun to feel empty. In just a few months, my identity had quite literally become “my job” and I lost sight of the many things that fulfilled me outside of it. I didn’t have time or energy for family and friends. Activities that brought me joy, like running and lacrosse, went out the window. I traveled for work instead of pleasure. I had no time to give back to my community.

Instead, I jotted down research ideas on bar napkins, replied to emails when everyone else was offline, and had a growing portfolio of projects in development. I didn’t know how to disconnect without feeling unproductive. For hours, I sat with my laptop in isolation, working on research that might never be published.


The moment you have found your dream job is the moment you have stopped growing, evolving, and finding new ways to experience joy in your role. Remember, you were hired because you offer something the organization is missing. They need change. They need you to bring your whole self to work, and that means doing things differently with the added flare that is you. A job that inspires you and gives you the space you need to be your full self is the dreamiest job out there.

Source: What You Should Chase Instead of a Dream Job | Ascend

Motivating people who don’t need a job

There are two kinds of people who don’t need the job you’re providing for them. The first kind is the independently wealthy. The second kind is the person with an in-demand skillset (or rare knowledge/experience).

The last time I was employed, I kept reminding my boss that I came from consulting and I could always go back to it. And that’s what I did. Employers whose main way of motivating employees is to implicitly threaten them with ‘not having a job’ aren’t worth working for.

You should manage all of your employees as if they don’t “need” their jobs and have other options — whether those options are family money or the ability to go out and get another job with their skills.There are two reasons for that:

1. Assuming you’re hiring good people, it’s very likely they do have other options. It might be a pain for someone to leave and find another job, but generally it’s something people are able to do.

2. Using someone’s paycheck as your primary leverage might be effective in the very short-term, but it’s rarely a way to build or retain an engaged, invested staff in the long-term.

The way you motivate someone who doesn’t need the money is the same way you should motivate people who do need the money: by giving them meaningful roles with real responsibility where they can see how their efforts contribute to a larger whole, giving them an appropriate amount of ownership over their work and input into decisions that involve that work, providing useful feedback, recognizing their contributions, helping them feel they’re making progress toward things that matter to them, and — importantly — not doing things that de-motivate people (like yelling or constantly shifting goals or generally being a jerk).

Source: how do I manage an employee who doesn’t need the job? | Ask a Manager

Value and liquidity of skills

This is a really nice way of explaining value within jobs and careers. Not only do you have to be good, but other people need to know about it.

It’s easy to make the mistake of conflating how much money you can make with how valuable your skill is. People think that being a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer is of fundamentally more value to society than being a chef or a musician, because they tend to make much more money. But the reality is that if one job makes more money than another, it’s generally not because that labor or skill is fundamentally more valuable, it’s just more liquid, more easily converted to money, or simply less replaceable.

Your ability to have a good career is the product of two things: the fundamental value and liquidity of the skills you have. So, when applied to job hunting, this means that there are really only two things that matter.

  • How good you are
  • How many people that influence hiring decisions know how good you are

All of the games people play to get an edge in hiring, like polishing resumes, practicing interviews, or going to networking events, are simply the popular ways of maximizing one of these two quantities. These small tactical pieces of advice can be useful, but I find it helpful to know what the ultimate goals are: to be good, and to have as many people know that as possible.

Source: Liquidity of skill | thesephist.com